Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 27–47 | Cite as

Metrics for cortical map organization and lateralization

  • Sergio A. Alvarez
  • Svetlana Levitan
  • James A. Reggia


Cerebral lateralization refers to the poorly understood fact that some functions are better controlled by one side of the brain than the other (e.g. handedness, language). Of particular concern here are the asymmetries apparent in cortical topographic maps that can be demonstrated electrophysiologically in mirror-image locations of the cerebral cortex. In spite of great interest in issues surrounding cerebral lateralization, methods for measuring the degree of organization and asymmetry in cortical maps are currently quite limited. In this paper, several measures are developed and used to assess the degree of organization, lateralization, and mirror symmetry in topographic map formation. These measures correct for large constant displacements as well as curving of maps. The behavior of the measures is tested on several topographic maps obtained by self-organization of an initially random artificial neural network model of a bihemispheric brain, and the results are compared with subjective assessments made by humans.


Cortical Region Lateralization Measure Subjective Estimate Sensory Surface Sensory Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bianki, V. L. (1993). The Mechanisms of Brain Lateralization. Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
  2. Bookstein, F. (1991). Morphometric Tools for Landmark Data. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bookstein, F. (1996). Biometrics, biomathematics and the morphometric synthesis. Bull. Math. Bio. 58, 313–365.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davidson, R. J. and K. Hugdahl (1995). Brain Asymmetry, MIT: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. DeMott, D. (1970). Toposcopic Studies of Learning, Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
  6. DeYoe, E., et al. (1994). Multiple processing streams in occipitotemporal visual cortex. Nature 371, 151–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Galaburda, A. and M. Habib (1987). Cerebral dominance: biological associations and pathology, Discuss. Neurosci. 4, FESN.Google Scholar
  8. Goodall, C. (1991). Procrustean methods in the statistical analysis of shape, J. R. Statis. Soc. B53, 285–339.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. Hardy, G., J. E. Littlewood and G. Pólya (1991). Inequalities. 2nd edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hellige, J. B. (1993). Hemispheric asymmetry. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kaas, J. (1991). Plasticity of sensorimotor maps in mammals. Ann. Rev. Neurosci. 14, 137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knudson, E., S. du Lac and S. Esterly (1987). Computational maps in the brain. Ann. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 41–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kohonen, T. (1995). Self-Organizing Maps. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  14. Kosslyn, S., M. Sokolov and J. Chen (1989). The Lateralization of BRIAN: A computational theory and model of visual hemispheric specialization, in Complex Information Processing: Impact of Herbert A. Simon D. Klahr and K. Kotovsky (Eds), Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Levitan, S. and J. Reggia. (1998). A computational model of lateralization in cortical maps, submitted.Google Scholar
  16. Lezak, M. D. (1995). Neurological Assessment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Martin, A., et al. (1996). Neural correlates of category-specific knowledge. Nature 379, 649–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Merzenich, M., et al. (1983). Topographic reorganization of somatosensory cortical areas 3b and 1. Neurosci. 8, 33–55.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nudo, R., et al. (1992). Neurophysiological correlates of hand preference in primary motor cortex of adult squirrel monkeys. J. Neurosci. 12, 2918–2947.Google Scholar
  20. Pascual-Leone, A., E. Wassermann and N. Sadato (1995). et al., The role of reading activity on the modulation of motor cortical outputs. Ann. Neurol. 38, 910–915.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pearson, J., L. Finkel and G. Edelman (1987). Plasticity in the organization of adult cerebral cortical maps: a computer simulation, J. Neurosci. 7, 4209–4223.Google Scholar
  22. Sprott, D. A. and M. P. Bryden (1983). Measurement of laterality effects, in Cerebral Hemisphere Asymmetry J. B. Hellige (Ed.), New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  23. Sutton, III G.G., J. A. Reggia, S. Armentrout and C. L. D’Autrechy. (1994). Cortical Map Reorganization as a Competitive Process, Neural Computation 6, 1–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergio A. Alvarez
    • 1
  • Svetlana Levitan
    • 2
  • James A. Reggia
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Nonlinear Analysis and Department of Mathematical SciencesCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, A. V. Williams BuildingUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations